FX’s “The Americans” went out with a bang this spring, drawing rave reviews for its final season. Will the Emmy Awards now give the acclaimed spy drama a farewell salute in terms of a victory for Best Drama Series? Throughout Emmy history we’ve seen various examples of voters giving hugs to departing shows, but only three dramas walked off with the top series award for their final season: “Breaking Bad” (2014), “The Sopranos” (2007) and “Upstairs, Downstairs” (1977).
“The Americans” was not an instant hit at the Emmys, managing only three nominations for its first two seasons: Best Main Title Theme Music for Nathan Barr and two bids in Best Drama Guest Actress for Margo Martindale. Then in Season 3, Joshua Brand earned a nom for Best Drama Writing as Martindale won an Emmy for her role as KGB handler Claudia on her third bid.
The show finally hit big in Season 4 with nominations for Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor for Matthew Rhys, Best Drama Actress for Keri Russell, Best Drama Writing for showrunners Joseph Weisberg and Joel Fields, and a second victory for Martindale. Then last year, “The Americans” was strangely dropped in the series race while still retaining its bids for lead actor, lead actress, writing and guest actress (Alison Wright replaced Martindale, who appeared in too many episodes to qualify in the category).
According to Gold Derby’s combined odds, “The Americans” currently sits in sixth place with 9/1 odds for Best Drama Series, which puts it safely in the running to earn a goodbye nomination. The other likely nominees will be “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Game of Thrones,” “This Is Us,” “Stranger Things,” “The Crown” and “Westworld.” Of note, two series nominated last year are out of contention because they didn’t air any new episodes during the 2017-18 eligibility period: “House of Cards” and “Better Call Saul.”
The last time the Emmys went gaga for a final season was in 2014 when “Breaking Bad” swept the field by winning Best Drama Series, Best Actor (Bryan Cranston), Best Supporting Actor (Aaron Paul), Best Supporting Actress (Anna Gunn) and Best Writing (Moira Walley-Beckett for “Ozymandias”). Before that, “The Sopranos” claimed prizes in 2007 for Best Drama Series, Best Directing (Alan Taylor for “Kennedy and Heidi”) and Best Writing (David Chase for the series finale). You have to go all the way back to 1977 to find another show that won Best Drama Series for its final season: “Upstairs, Downstairs,” which claimed no other prizes that year.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.